Off-Broadway shows to see this fall
Check out our picks for must-see Off-Broadway theatre this fall.
It might feel like summer just started, but it’s never too early to plan what shows you’re going to see in the fall. In New York, buzzy new shows tend to sell out quickly. Summer in New York is a slower season for theatre, where many companies take a break — but fall is when the new theatre season begins and new shows pop up all over.
This fall, Off-Broadway theatres are filled with family dramas, experimental plays, new musicals, and celebrity-led shows. Below, we’ve picked out the Off-Broadway shows of every genre to put on your radar for the fall. Also, discover all the Broadway theatre opening this fall.
Reinvented classic play: A Raisin in the Sun
At first glance, you may think, “Who needs another version of A Raisin in the Sun?” After all, Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play about a Black family trying to buy a house in a white neighborhood just got a Broadway revival in 2014. But Robert O’Hara is directing this new revival, which promises to be “innovative.” Considering O’Hara directed the provocative Slave Play, and just presented a fresh take on Richard III through the Public's Shakespeare in the Park program, we’re certain his A Raisin in the Sun will get people talking. A Raisin in the Sun will play at The Public Theater from September 27 to November 6.
Starry musical revival: A Man of No Importance
This is going to be a hot ticket. Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory and The Normal Heart) is starring in his first musical, a revival of A Man of No Importance (music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, book by Terrence McNally). The musical is about a closeted gay man living in Dublin who wants to put on a local production of Salome by Oscar Wilde, despite the objections of his local church. Parsons has already proved himself an excellent stage actor, but hearing his singing voice will be a new treat for audiences. A Man of No Importance will play at Classic Stage Company from October 11 to December 4.
Starry historical drama: Straight Line Crazy
Robert Moses never held elected office in New York, but he was an influential public official who oversaw construction on new parks, new bridges, and 627 miles of highway that connected NYC with Long Island. He also bulldozed over neighborhoods of color and poor neighborhoods in the process. In short, Moses is a complicated figure, so it makes a certain sense that the versatile Ralph Fiennes will play him in David Hare’s new play Straight Line Crazy. The show was performed to great acclaim in London, and now it’s fitting that Straight Line Crazy will finally hit NYC, Moses’s playground. Straight Line Crazy will play at The Shed from October 18 to December 18.
Buzzy new musical: Only Gold
This new “theatrical dance musical” is set in Paris and has some very notable names behind it. Three-time Tony Award-winning Hamilton director/choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler created the show, and he also directs and choreographs here. He teamed up with Glow actress and British pop singer-songwriter Kate Nash, who is writing the music. Only Gold is Nash’s first musical, and Blankenbuehler's original concept centers on a royal family's arrival to Paris. Only Gold will play at MCC Theater in October.
Experimental play: Catch As Catch Can
Catch As Catch Can isn’t a new show. Mia Chung’s play was first performed to critical acclaim in 2018 and was praised for how it deconstructed the family play. Let’s just say that if you are tired of plays set in living rooms, Catch As Catch Can is a play for you. The play is about two neighboring families and their domestic drama, but the families are brought to life by three actors who, in a feat of stagecraft, trade characters in the same scene. It might seem like a gimmick, but it brings to mind how gender roles, familial roles, social roles are all constructed. Catch As Catch Can will play at Playwrights Horizons in October.
Heartfelt family drama: My Broken Language
Quiara Alegría Hudes’s My Broken Language is based on her memoir of the same name. You might know Hudes best, though, as the Pulitzer-winning playwright who co-wrote In the Heights with Lin-Manuel Miranda. Her memoir details her upbringing in Philadelphia and her family of caring, boisterous women who played fast and loose with the English language. Those who grew up in a bilingual family of women will relate to Hudes’s story especially deeply, and audiences will be fascinated by how she dramatizes and condenses her memoir, which spans two decades. My Broken Language will play at Signature Theatre in the fall.
Intimate two-hander: Where the Mountain Meets the Sea
Where the Mountain Meets the Sea by Jeff Augustin is about a father and son. The father takes a road trip from Miami to California. Years later, his son takes the same journey, but in reverse. The play is about their parallel trips. The concept sounds a little bit like the Off-Broadway musical The Last Five Years, which also presents two stories in reverse, and this play does even feature some music. The folk band The Bengsons have written songs for the show. How will they portray a story that spans a continent with just two people? If any medium can do it, it’s theatre. Where the Mountain Meets the Sea will play at Manhattan Theatre Club starting October 11.
A blend of light and dark: Camp Siegfried
One of the last Bess Wohl plays at Second Stage Theater was Make Believe, about a group of children playing in an attic, who have been abandoned by their mother. Her new play also promises to start out lighthearted and then turn dark. Camp Siegfried takes place at the Long Island summer camp of the title, where two teenagers begin a summer romance. In the background, however, World War II is about to start, and these teens are being slowly indoctrinated into extremism. How will Wohl thread love and war together? The result promises to be surprising and moving. Camp Siegfried will play at Second Stage Theater in the fall.